An overwhelming amount of information has been written about leadership. What about followership? If you don’t have followers, are you really a leader? As a leader it is your responsibility to create conditions to increase the commitment of your followers.
Here are three ways that you as a leader can create these conditions:
- Take time to understand and help your followers apply their strengths. Research shows that strengths based leadership significantly increases engagement which leads to greater follower commitment.
- Create connections through community. Provide intentional opportunities for your team to develop connections in the workplace. The world of social media has demonstrated that a chorus of many voices often drowns out a single voice. Building strong communities within your followers provides a platform to lead from.
- Be a leader that others want to follow. Model integrity, authenticity and competence to inspire followers to respect and trust in you.
The opposite of followership is desertion. Studies show that one of the most frequently cited reasons for leaving a job is a problem with the employees manager. This is clear evidence of failed leadership and a result of not providing conditions to increase the commitment of your followers. Build on strengths, create communities and model the critical leadership competencies to enhance your leadership through followership.
Focus on honing your leadership skills so that when you look behind you people will be following you.